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Rhino and vultures: a marriage of survival

Lifestyle Section - Environment


rhino-MI was lucky enough to be invited to a recent function in aid of rhino and vultures. It was superb evening and testimony to the fact people really care about the future of our world and for all our children.

One may wonder why these two iconic species are so important. They are not just important because they are iconic. They are critically important because they are symbols of our own humanity. Symbols of who we are and how much we care about the generations still to come. They show us whether we focus only on our own needs – or also those of the other species that inhabit this planet, and enable us to strive for a better life for all.

Those who do not believe in this truth probably also have the bizarre notion that climate change, and particularly the human contribution to it, is a myth.

Scientists have 600 000 years of science which clearly shows how, since the start of the industrial revolution, we have progressively used more and more fossil fuel energy to power our economic growth and quality of life improvements. It is difficult, when you look at the evidence, to understand how anyone can deny what we have done to the only home we know. A total of 30% of all the carbon in the atmosphere has been released into the heavens since 1998. And we did the releasing!

So back to the rhino and vulture. Both of these beautiful beasts are ancient, and have been around for longer than we have. Perhaps we feel this connection to them because of their clear dinosaur connections, and enable us to feel our ancestry as well. Whatever the case, their future is inextricably linked to our future.

The marriage we are talking about is not between the Rhino and Vulture, but instead their marriage to our future.

We cannot escape the fact that if we continue to allow the extinction of species at the current rate, our future is as surely sealed as theirs. It is not a question of if, just a question of when.

The beautiful part of this picture is that the future is entirely in our hands.
So what should we be doing?

We must save the rhino and the vulture from extinction. Of course! But we need to do so much more as well.

We need to show real leadership and be unafraid to do what needs to be done; we need to stop the poachers; we need to make sure that our protective activities are clear and visible; we need to smash the market for the products made from these amazing creatures; we need to reward those who make a real difference richly and visibly.

We need to be permanently and consciously aware of our impact on the planet. We need, for example, to accept that South Africa is one of the driest countries on earth – and behave accordingly; we need to conserve energy; we need to be conscious that every single thing that we use comes from the planet and that according to WWF, the conservation organisation, we are currently consuming the resources of the planet about 50% faster than the planet can regenerate those resources.

If you buy this concept and the concern that should \[orielle.berry\]the go with it, then it is the responsibility of those of us who care to take action.
This means sharing your concern with everyone you come in contact with; talking about what can done; actually do what you can to change the direction of the trajectory of destruction.

This is no marriage of inconvenience. It is instead a marriage of survival. It is a timely reminder that our future rests with the continued survival of the rhino and the vulture, and the thousands of other species that are under hourly threat from the way we live our lives and upon which our own continued existence very much depends.
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Written by Tony Frost You are reading Rhino and vultures: a marriage of survival articles

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